IBM has sent us a press release about the use of their 1GB microdrive on two shuttle missions to the International Space Station. The pictures were taken using the Kodak Professional DCS 660 and are available on the NASA gallery site for the missions STS98 and STS102, do a search for "digital".

IBM Microdrive Is Out of This World

World's Smallest Hard Disk Drive Completes Two Successful NASA Shuttle Missions; Brought Back High-Resolution, Space-aged Pictures

IBM says its award-winning one-gigabyte Microdrive(TM) offers the ruggedness and performance ideal for outer space or earthbound photographic missions. This, after NASA astronauts successfully stored and brought back digital images on IBM's revolutionary one-inch hard disk drive during the recent Atlantis and Discovery shuttle missions.

After withstanding a series of tests including high doses of radiation and durability in a weightless environment, the Microdrive easily stored hundreds of data-intensive digital images from NASA's most important missions to the International Space Station. The pictures were captured with the Kodak Professional DCS 660 digital camera, providing six megapixel resolution for high-quality professional images.

"IBM designed the Microdrive for reliability, high-performance and huge capacity -- features that are essential to meet NASA's rigorous standards for critical missions," said Michael Kuptz, Microdrive business line manager, IBM Storage Technology Division. "If the Microdrive can be trusted to help capture NASA's history-making journeys, imagine what it can do to preserve your child's first smile or your business-critical documents."

The high capacity of the 1 GB Microdrive enabled shuttle crew to be more productive by giving them extra time to spend capturing images instead of swapping in and out storage cards, as would be the case with lower capacity removable memory formats. In addition, according to Kodak and independent third-party testing, the Microdrive's high performance enables Kodak digital cameras to write images to the Microdrive more quickly than to any other storage technology.

The Kodak Professional DCS 660's six-megapixel resolution, offering precision surpassing that of 35 mm cameras, met NASA's requirement for very high quality images. Digital files at this high resolution can be as large as 18 MB, compared to one to two MB for standard digital files.

"We optimized Kodak Professional's digital cameras to be compatible with the IBM Microdrive because of its ability to quickly store and move very large files," said Jay Kelbley, product manager, digital cameras, Kodak Professional. "Kodak and IBM together offer a 'digital imaging workflow' in the highest-quality image capture and storage solution on the market."

NASA's in-flight images captured with the IBM Microdrive and Kodak Professional DCS 660 digital camera can be viewed at for shuttle missions STS98 and STS102.

Click here for the IBM press release